Presiding Members appeal for extension of district level elections 

Mr Joseph Korto, National Dean of Presiding Members (PMs) of District Assemblies have called for the extension of this year’s district level elections to December, from October 03, as scheduled by the Electoral Commission (EC). 

He said holding the district level elections in October shortened the two-year term of PMs given that they were elected in December. 

He also called for an extension of the tenure of office of PMs from two to four years, equivalent to that of all Article 71 office holders.  

He made the call at the National Conference of Presiding Members held in Tamale.  

The National Conference of Presiding Members is a gathering of PMs from the 261 districts of the country.  

The two-day conference was to deliberate on welfare issues of Assemblies and PMs and identify administrative lapses in the local government system that hindered service delivery. 

It was on the theme: “The Role of Local Authorities in Ensuring Public Safety: The Business for All”. 

Mr Korto said “Article 244 (4) of the Constitution states that the term of office for the PM shall be two years and shall be eligible for re-election. It is our collective view as the miniature parliament of the local authorities that this clause is unfair to PMs.” 

He stated that the processes involved in electing PMs were cumbersome, hence reviewing the tenure of office would ease challenges on district assemblies.  

He said “Currently, some assemblies have not been able to elect their PM after the expiration of the previous term due to some of these challenges.” 

He called for a review of the payment of emolument for members from the coffers of district assemblies to the consolidated fund, saying assemblies with limited resources were unable to honour payment to members. 

Among other requests of the PMs, Mr Korto made included revision of some clauses of the Constitution and Local Government Act to favour the district assemblies in tandem with article 71 office holders including holding by-elections for vacant district seats. 

Source: GNA 

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